Clam chowder is any of the numerous clam-based chowder soups popular in American cuisine. In addition to clams, chopped potatoes, salt pork, and onions are frequent ingredients, and other vegetables are usually not used. Clams are thought to have been utilized in chowder because they are straightforward to gather. Saltine crackers or little hexagonal oyster crackers are commonly served with clam chowder.
The dish has its origins in the Northeastern United States, although it is now widely available in restaurants around the country. There are several regional varieties, but the three most common are New England or “white” clam chowder, which contains milk or cream; Manhattan or “red” clam chowder, which has tomatoes; and Rhode Island or “clear” clam chowder, which does not contain either.
Clam Chowder Nutrition Facts
How To Make Clam Chowder?
You’ll want to use heavy cream for the creamiest chowder. If you don’t have or don’t want to use heavy cream, you may substitute light cream; however, you’ll need to add around one tablespoon of cornstarch to the lighter cream before adding it to the soup to thicken it. Adding more starch or fat to clam chowder will thicken it. Clam chowder should be thickened with flour or cornstarch. Potatoes or crackers can thicken clam chowder that has already been cooked. Heavy cream can also be substituted.
- 1½ kg clams or a mixture of clams and cockles
- 50g butter
- 150g unsmoked bacon lardons, cubed pancetta, or chopped streaky bacon
- One onion, finely chopped
- sprig of thyme
- One bay leaf
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 150ml milk
- 150ml double cream
- Two medium potatoes – about 250 grams, cut into cubes
- chopped parsley and crusty bread to serve
Drain the clams thoroughly after rinsing them in cold water several times. Pour 500ml of water over the clams in a big pan. Cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce to low heat for 2 minutes, or until the clams have barely opened. To catch the clam stock, strain the contents of the pan into a colander set over a dish. Remove the clams from their shells when cold enough to handle, keeping a handful of empty shells for presentation if desired. Remove any debris from the bottom of the bowl and strain the clam stock into a jug. It would help if you had about 800ml of stock on hand.
In the same pan, melt the butter and cook the bacon for 3-4 minutes, or until it begins to brown. Stir in the onion, thyme, and bay leaves, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the onion is tender and golden. Cook for 2 minutes more after scattering the flour on top and stirring it to produce a sandy paste, then gradually whisk in the clam stock, milk, and cream.
Place the potatoes in the pot, bring to a gentle simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. To assist thicken, smash a few potato chunks against the pan’s side with a fork — you still want lots of identifiable chunks. Stir in the clam meat and, if you’ve gone that route, a few clamshells, and cook for a minute to reheat. If desired, season to taste with black pepper and a pinch of salt, then toss in the parsley immediately before serving in bowls or hollowed-out crusty buns.
How Do You Make Your Clam Chowder Thicker?
Add a tablespoon of cornstarch to the cream if you want thick chowder. Stir it in thoroughly to ensure no lumps, and then slowly pour it into the pot, stirring constantly. The chowder will thicken as you stir in the cream and cornstarch mixture. Adding more starch or fat to clam chowder will thicken it. Clam chowder should be thickened with flour or cornstarch. Potatoes or crackers can thicken clam chowder that has already been cooked. Heavy cream can also be substituted.
What To Serve With Clam Chowder?
1. Bread Rolls-Clam chowder in a bread bowl is usually a winning combination. Serve some soft and buttery bread rolls on the side to keep things simple.
Dip these little fellows into your hot chowder and let them soak up all of the creamy flavors. These light and fluffy dinner rolls are best served warm, with a thin layer of buttery goodness on top.
2. Oyster Crackers-How about some crisp and flavorful oyster crackers instead of soft dinner rolls? This classic combination of creamy, delicate soup and crunchy crackers is a fan favorite.
3. Roasted Veggies-As previously stated, a thick and heavy clam chowder requires a light side dish to balance it out, and vegetables are an excellent choice.
You won’t have to worry about the flavors dominating the main meal because they’re delicate. To give your vegetables a lovely sear and caramelized flavor, roast them. You can use any vegetables you like, although carrots, asparagus, beets, and turnips are perfect for roasting. Tomatoes, fennel, mushrooms, and artichokes are all excellent additions.
4. Corn On The Cob-Corn on the cob is delicious with chowder, but it is also simple to cook. You can grill, bake, roast, boil, or try something new: microwave it. It’s also easy to flavor the sweet, juicy, and nutritious corn. All you have to do now is add butter and salt! Also, some basil will work wonders.
5. French Fries-Clam Chowder contains potatoes; it’s only natural to taste even better with even more!
Cut your potatoes into small slices to generate exceptionally crispy fries that give your dish a nice texture. When it comes to putting together the perfect feast, I adore a variety of textures.
What Can You Substitute For Clam Juice?
Fish Sauce Or Fish Stock
When you still want that seafood flavor, you can add fish sauce or fish stock as an alternative. You can use whichever is easier for you to get your hands on or if you already have something on hand. Fish stock is similar to beef or chicken broth in appearance, and it’s produced with boiling fish pieces, including bones and meat.
Chicken broth can be a decent alternative if you don’t want anything with fish flavor or even somewhat related to seafood. The chicken broth will work well in the variety of foods you prepare. It’s unlikely you’ll want to add chicken broth to your Bloody Mary; it won’t be the same. The flavor of the chicken broth is enhanced, yet it still has a chicken flavor.
Perhaps you’re looking for an alternative that doesn’t include meat or animal by-products. You’ve come to the right place! In this case, vegetable broth can be substituted for fish sauce or chicken broth. Vegetable broth is exceptionally comparable to chicken broth and is the ideal option for clam juice-based recipes. This is an excellent vegan or vegetarian option. The vegetable broth has a flavor that you would not expect. It’s nearly a tad sweet, but the flavor isn’t overpowering. It’s ideal for soups and chowders and sauces and other related applications.
Dashi is a Japanese alternative that complements Asian cuisines and sauces beautifully. Because it’s a form of broth, it’ll have a similar texture and flavor at the end. Dashi is used in most Japanese foods, such as miso and noodles, and it’s a type of fish stock with a strong umami flavor. Dashi is prepared using fish comparable in color and flavor to clam juice, making it an excellent alternative.
Dry White Wine
White wines come in a wide range of price ranges and may be found in almost any grocery shop. It works well in portions of pasta, chowders, soups, and drinks that call for clam juice. You can also drink the leftovers. It’s a simple alternative, but it does include alcohol, so keep that in mind. Of course, you won’t have to worry about the alcohol content if you cook with it. Instead of just one or two dishes, dry white wine or even dry sherry can be used as a clam substitute.
Another fishy-flavored sauce to try is this one. Oyster sauce is a decent option when you want a fishy flavor but don’t want to use clam sauce. Furthermore, the oyster sauce has a flavor comparable to clam sauce with a hint of saltiness. Because these are similar resources, your outcome will be pretty similar. Oyster sauce can be used in place of clam sauce in any recipe that calls for it. Because it’s predominantly an Asian sauce, check for it in Asian grocery stores and markets or the Asian section of your local supermarket.
How Many Different Types Of Clam Chowder Are There?
Clam chowder comes in three primary varieties, though about eight in all. New England Clam Chowder, Manhattan Clam Chowder, and Rhode Island Clam Chowder are the most frequent forms of clam chowder. The most prevalent version is New England Clam Chowder, but let’s look at all three to determine which sounds the most delicious and try it (or all of them!) for yourself.
New England Clam Chowder
The best clam chowder is commonly considered to be New England Clam Chowder. Its thick consistency is due to its creamy base, which is the foundation for its exquisite flavor. In addition to clams, New England Clam Chowder usually includes potatoes, onions, celery, salt, and pepper.
Manhattan Clam Chowder
Because Manhattan Clam Chowder is made using tomatoes, it has a crimson broth rather than the white, creamy soup seen in New England clam chowder. Manhattan Clam Chowder has more veggies than New England Clam Chowder, including green peppers and carrots.
Rhode Island Clam Chowder
Rhode Island Clam Chowder is usually served with a clear broth, but it can also be served with a red broth made from tomato puree. The broth in both circumstances has a thin consistency. Another significant distinction is that Rhode Island Clam Chowder uses quahog clams, whereas the other two styles do not.
A chowder is a rich, substantial soup made with fish or poultry, a base of salt pork or bacon, and various vegetables such as onions, celery, and potatoes. Add a tablespoon of cornstarch to the cream if you want thick chowder. Stir it in thoroughly to ensure no lumps, and then slowly pour it into the pot, stirring constantly. The chowder will thicken as you stir in the cream and cornstarch mixture. Cornstarch is flour made from corn, and it’s made up of dried and powdered endosperm from maize kernels. Corn starch thickens soups and other liquid-based dishes, including sauces, gravies, and custard.